HEUNG-MIN SON scored Tottenham’s historic first goal in their new stadium last night as they saw off Crystal Palace.
Son struck ten minutes after half-time, with Christian Eriksen adding a late second goal, as Spurs won 2-0 to move above their bitter rivals Arsenal and back into third place in the Premier League.
This was all about a new beginning for one of English football’s grandest clubs, who have waited nearly the whole season to move into their gleaming new home.
The opening ceremony, complete with choir, opera singer and fireworks, was enjoyed by all but then an important match broke out amid the fun.
The first chance came after just two minutes of the game, Kieran Trippier crossing in and Dele Alli heading straight at Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Almost straight away, Jeffrey Schlupp burst through in a good position for Palace but fired over the crossbar.
Eriksen had a shot blocked by Guaita, while just before half-time Danny Rose was sent through by Son, and probably should have had a shot, but tried to find Harry Kane and his cross was blocked. That moment seemed to sum up Tottenham’s increasing anxiety to make their mark at the new ground.
The deadlock was finally broken after 55 minutes, when Eriksen took the ball off Luka Milivojevic and fed Son on the right-hand side of the area, who cut inside and saw his low shot deflect in off Milivojevic.
Kane should have doubled the lead when clean through on the left but he curled his chance wide. But with ten minutes left, the points were duly sealed. Kane was bundled over inside the Palace penalty area but instead of waiting for a spot-kick to be awarded, Eriksen slotted the ball home.
This was Tottenham’s first league win since February 10. Very much all right on their big night.
‘It’s amazing – this is so different from Wembley’
TOTTENHAM’S Heung-min Son admitted it was an ‘amazing feeling’ to play at the club’s new stadium as Spurs beat Crystal Palace on their return ‘home’ last night.
South Korea forward Son scored the all-important first Premier League goal at the new ground in the second half and Christian Eriksen wrapped up a 2-0 victory with the second.
Son said: ‘It’s just amazing. What an unbelievable stadium. The noise was just so loud.
‘To score the first goal at this stadium… I just want to say to thank-you to my team-mates and the fans.
‘White Hart Lane is our history but the new stadium, I can’t believe it. To play in it is an amazing feeling. It’s a bit different from Wembley. Wembley was not our home.’
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino dedicated the win to chairman Daniel Levy, the driving force behind the 62,000-capacity venue. ‘It’s a special moment, a special night. I feel and believe it is the best stadium in the world,’ said Pochettino.
‘I’m pleased for Daniel because of this fantastic project and I dedicate that victory to him.
‘Today we touched the glory. Now we need to touch the glory of lifting trophies. Now is the start of a chapter.’